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What's a good headphone receiver with high quality DAC and wide fr
vexatious
post Mar 17 2013, 06:34
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Looking for a headphone receiver with built-in DAC and wide frequency response to drive my studio headphones.

My headphones have a wide frequency response and are pretty flat. Listen to a lot of music beyond 44100 hz (48000 hz for example) and some uncommon sampling rates such as 32000hz. Most headphone amps I see have 20-20hz rate and I'm not sure if this is the same as audible frequency range. I also do midi mixes and listen to a lot of sound effects which makes a high frequency range more necessary.

My main concern is bit-perfect playback, impressive DAC's, and no audio filters or processing (virtual 3d sound and other enhancing stuff is a big no-no!); I want to hear every detail and defect possible in music while being as unmodified as possible (some sounds in songs become in-audible when downsampled from 48000hz to 44100hz; more obvious using a spectrum analyzer). My soundcard does bit perfect playback but not sure if most DAC's leave sampling rates unmodified (especially 32000hz). Don't want to spend over $200.00 but that's okay if I have to.

Regards

This post has been edited by vexatious: Mar 17 2013, 06:45
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saratoga
post Mar 17 2013, 07:00
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QUOTE (vexatious @ Mar 17 2013, 00:34) *
My headphones have a wide frequency response and are pretty flat. Listen to a lot of music beyond 44100 hz (48000 hz for example) and some uncommon sampling rates such as 32000hz. Most headphone amps I see have 20-20hz rate and I'm not sure if this is the same as audible frequency range. I also do midi mixes and listen to a lot of sound effects which makes a high frequency range more necessary.


The rating doesn't mean much in this case.

QUOTE (vexatious @ Mar 17 2013, 00:34) *
(some sounds in songs become in-audible when downsampled from 48000hz to 44100hz; more obvious using a spectrum analyzer).


If it sounds different resampling from 48k to 44.1k, something is wrong with your resampler. Have you tried using a known good one like in SOX or foobar2000? This should be a non-issue.

QUOTE (vexatious @ Mar 17 2013, 00:34) *
My soundcard does bit perfect playback but not sure if most DAC's leave sampling rates unmodified (especially 32000hz). Don't want to spend over $200.00 but that's okay if I have to.


It sounds like what you have isn't bad. Is there some reason you want to buy something else? Hard to make a recommendation without knowing what you're expecting.
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vexatious
post Mar 21 2013, 07:37
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Basically I want a top quality stereo amp and connect that to a top quality DAC for my diigital output (either toslink or coaxial).

I know my sound card outputs the proper frequency so I want to make sure I get a DAC that leaves sampling rates alone.

Folks might disagree about being able to hear audio frequencies beyond 22050hz (44100khz stereo) but I definitely need the best DAC. My software is fine and I'm using secret rabbit code's libsamplerate at the highest setting in audacious (linux audio player) including other resamplers. Usually I'd use a resampler to upsample 44100khz audio to 48000khz for incapable hardware (Sound Blaster Live sound cards are stuck at 48000khz for example) but in my case I do midi mixes and recordings that require higher sampling rates to preserve every detail even if it's really negligible to some (I can definitely measure the difference with a spectrum analyzer).

I just came across the "Crack OTL Headphone Amplifier Kit" and it seems very promising in regards to what I'm looking for: http://www.bottlehead.com/store.php/produc...e-amplifier-kit . This looks promising and I wonder how the Crack with it's speedball upgrade kit http://www.bottlehead.com/store.php/produc...crack-amplifier compares to the more expensive S.E.X. 2.1 http://www.bottlehead.com/store.php/produc...perimenters-kit including it's upgrades http://www.bottlehead.com/store.php/produc...c4s-upgrade-kit http://www.bottlehead.com/store.php/produc...-and-stereomour . I only need a TRS output at the moment but I might get speakers in the future. Of course I would need a DAC as well.

Regards

This post has been edited by db1989: Mar 21 2013, 09:44
Reason for edit: deleting pointless full quote of above post
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saratoga
post Mar 21 2013, 08:03
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QUOTE (vexatious @ Mar 21 2013, 01:37) *
My software is fine and I'm using secret rabbit code's libsamplerate at the highest setting in audacious (linux audio player) including other resamplers. Usually I'd use a resampler to upsample 44100khz audio to 48000khz for incapable hardware (Sound Blaster Live sound cards are stuck at 48000khz for example) but in my case I do midi mixes and recordings that require higher sampling rates to preserve every detail even if it's really negligible to some (I can definitely measure the difference with a spectrum analyzer).


Measuring it with a spectrum analyzer just means your spectrum analyzer works. Unless there is actually some audible difference, there is no sense in worrying about it.
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probedb
post Mar 21 2013, 08:55
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QUOTE (vexatious @ Mar 21 2013, 06:37) *
Folks might disagree about being able to hear audio frequencies beyond 22050hz (44100khz stereo) but I definitely need the best DAC.


Test yourself first you might be surprised at what you can't hear. I can't hear much beyond 15KHz which really did surprise me.

Just because your headphones have a decent frequency response doesn't mean you'll hear it. Which headphones are they?

Your ears aren't a spectrum analyzer either. Just because you can see a difference doesn't mean it's audible. Or basically what saratoga wrote smile.gif
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db1989
post Mar 21 2013, 09:50
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QUOTE (vexatious @ Mar 21 2013, 06:37) *
Folks might disagree about being able to hear audio frequencies beyond 22050hz (44100khz stereo)
“Folks might disagree” is far too conveniently generous a statement. Children with good hearing will hear ~20 kHz at best, and the maximal audible frequency drops steadily from there as the person ages. Adults will be lucky to hear anything over ~18 kHz, and some people even lose the ability to hear 16 kHz, as demonstrated by their not being able to hear the pilot tone on a CRT TV set.

So, if that way of phrasing it means that you disagree with all the other folks, prove it: your Golden Ears award awaits.
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greynol
post Mar 21 2013, 14:55
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...and while children may hear 20 kHz and beyond, the way the inner ear processes it is not somehow magically different.

Instead of listening to pure tones, try listening to content passed through a low-pass filter, starting at 18 kHz and working your way lower until you can ABX a difference against the unfiltered source material. Repeat the experiment with your golden-eared child.

This post has been edited by greynol: Mar 21 2013, 15:49


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Your eyes cannot hear.
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greynol
post Mar 21 2013, 15:04
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QUOTE (vexatious @ Mar 21 2013, 06:37) *
Folks might disagree

Only might disagree? No, some folks definitely do disagree. This doesn't make them right.

QUOTE (vexatious @ Mar 21 2013, 06:37) *
audio frequencies beyond 22050hz (44100khz stereo)

The sample rate and Nyquist frequency have nothing to do with mono/stereo.

QUOTE (vexatious @ Mar 16 2013, 22:34) *
some sounds in songs become in-audible when downsampled from 48000hz to 44100hz

Our terms to which you agreed to follow in order to post require that you provide proof for this.

Please provide us with some, or rescind the comment.

"More obvious using a spectrum analyzer" doesn't say anything about what is audible or inaudible, and as such does not constitute proof. You can read more about this under rule #8 in the link I gave.

If you cannot abide by our rules, please refrain from posting.

This post has been edited by greynol: Mar 21 2013, 23:07


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Your eyes cannot hear.
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